Alistair's birth story!

I thought I would take advantage of the fact that Alistair is snoozing away to write down my birth story. Some of it still feels quite hazy but I think I can remember most of it!

I saw my midwife on Thurs 15th Jan at 40+5 and she did a sweep. At that point I was 2-3cm dilated and fully effaced so she arranged to do another sweep on the 17th and reckoned that the two sweeps would do the job but booked me in for an induction on the 22nd if nothing had happened by then. So I had the second sweep (which was a lot more painful than the first as my cervix was more posterior) on the 17th and waited! A few odd twinges here and there but nothing regular so I resigned myself to the induction. The good news was that my midwife said that as I was 3cm dilated I should only need to have my waters broken to start having contractions and therefore I might still be able to have an active water birth with no monitoring which was my original plan. I was sad that I couldn't use the midwife-led birthing unit but in hindsight it really didn't matter.

So on the 22nd we phoned the hospital as arranged and they told us to come in at 5pm. I spent a few hours on the antenatal ward while the midwife did another examination, still 3cm but she also thought I would get away without the pessaries or hormone drip and could just have my waters broken. We went up to the delivery unit at 9.30pm and met our designated midwife, Pam. She was in and out the room as she was dealing with another lady at first. She thought I might need to have some gel on my cervix but in the end said she would try and break my waters which she managed to do at 11.15pm (no more painful than the second sweep). After that she said to go for a walk to see if the contractions started. Well they started about 15 mins after my waters were broken and came on really thick and fast. We had gone to get OH a sarnie as he was getting hungry bless him but I was having contractions about 3 mins apart and very painful, all I could do was stand and cling onto OH's neck! We went straight back to the room (minus the sarnie!) and every time I had a contraction I held onto the window sill and moved my hips back and forward which really helped, as did groaning lots of -oohs' and -ahs'! Pam came in and realised things were moving pretty swiftly and suggested a bath (the birthing pool was in use already). I have absolutely no recollection of what time I got into the bath but it must have been around 1am -ish I think. I had to lie on my back which didn't work so well for me and I was starting to panic about the pain I was in as my contractions were now very close together and sometimes I wasn't getting any break at all between them. OH called the midwife who brought in some gas and air but it wasn't having any effect and I couldn't seem to breathe it in. I was probably in the bath for half an hour but was starting to feel like I needed a poo and demanded to go back to my room.

Once back in the room I leaned over the bed for a bit which was quite a good position. I had been using hypnotherapy cds throughout my pregnancy (which I can totally recommend!) so OH put on the birthing music which was very relaxing. At some point Pam came in and said that she was with me all the way now which was a massive relief. She got me on the bed and examined me, I was 8cm dilated and she suggested that I get on all fours on the bed to try and get gravity to move the last two cms. I had some more gas and air which worked this time and was fantastic stuff - really helped me focus on my breathing and calmed me down. I was getting more of a break between contractions which really helped too. During contractions I kept saying I needed a poo and could feel my body taking over and trying to push. Pam made me get on my back again and said to go ahead and empty my bowels which I did twice, I was a bit embarrassed but nobody cared! Pam examined me again and said I was nearly there but there was a slight lip on my cervix that was getting in the way. With each contraction she pushed it out the way but it went back a couple of times before she was successful. That was quite a hard bit as she was telling me not to push but my body really wanted to and I was going cross-eyed with the effort of holding back! Finally she said I could go ahead and push (gas and air was taken away as I needed to focus!). It was hard but it felt that the end was in sight. At some point they listened to the baby's heart rate and it was dropping and not coming back up quickly enough. All of a sudden there were lots of people in the room (don't know how many but a few midwives, a couple of doctors and I think there was a student) and they said that they needed to get him out quickly so they needed to give me a small episiotomy and use the ventouse. I didn't feel it at all when they made the cut and after that he was born very quickly at 3.03am (after about 12 mins of pushing). They cut the cord straight away and took him away but he cried quite quickly and was fine when they checked him over. They put him on me for some skin to skin which was really lovely.

I had the injection to deliver the placenta but it wasn't coming out quickly enough. It took just over an hour and some hormone drip to make it come out which was a relief as they were talking about having to take me to theatre to have it taken out manually which would have meant an epidural. I was cuddling Alistair all the time and trying to get him to breastfeed as Pam said it might help the uterus contract and get the placenta out. He wasn't really getting the hang of it though but we enjoyed a cuddle and then OH got to hold him while I was being stitched up (which took about 40 mins and required some more gas and air!). We had some tea and toast at 6am and then Pam came to say goodbye as she was going off shift. She was absolutely brilliant, very reassuring and motivating but stern enough to make me work when I needed to! We went down to the post natal ward at about 10am, Al was asleep most of the time which meant that I could get a catnap and OH had to go and sleep in the car for a couple of hours! I was keen to go home as soon as possible so once Al had had a successful breastfeed and passed his newborn tests we were able to go at about 2pm.

He's been a wee star so far, breast feeding going ok after an initial blip and although he can be really tetchy in the evening he sleeps quite well at night so I'm not feeling super-exhausted. Life is good!

Em x

[Modified by: emmsy4 on 01 February 2009 10:42:23 ]


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